Visual Arts

Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, Maséqua Myers, Executive Director of the SSCAC, has curated a small series of images from the Art Center’s collection

Tony Smith

Maséqua Myers first walked into the South Side Community Art Center at the age of sixteen. It was in this Bronzeville brownstone that she first took African dance classes, in addition to literary and poetry workshops. Myers went on to become an actress and director, performing in Chicago venues like the Victory Gardens Theatre and the Goodman Theatre from the late sixties through 1982. She also served as one of the first teaching artists to work in Chicago Public Schools through Urban Gateways. She and her husband took a twenty-five year break from Chicago to direct, produce, and perform in Phoenix, Arizona and then Los Angeles before family responsibilities called them home to the South Side. Late in 2014, Myers was asked to become the new Executive Director of the SSCAC. The Weekly spoke to Myers on the Art Center’s third floor and production space, just two days after the opening of their first exhibit of 2016, titled “Bridging Generations: Strong Men Getting Stronger.”

Visual Arts

Teaching Self-Love

South Side Community Art Center is strong and getting stronger

Tony Smith

I would rather see them with a paintbrush than with a weapon in their hand.


Picking Up Peace

Fierce Women of Faith advocate nonviolence

Teddy Watler

Reverend Dr. Marcenia Richards is the founder and executive director of Fierce Women of Faith, an interfaith initiative of women promoting peace throughout Chicago. Wrapped in their signature pink pashminas, members of FWF gather on Tuesday mornings for prayer vigils around the city and advocate for peace. Richards founded the coalition about a year ago, after serving as the director of Saint Sabina’s Peace Coalition Against Violence, where she found women had a limited presence in nonviolence organizing in Chicago. Richards says that about two-hundred Chicagoland women actively participate in FWF’s work. They categorize their work into five pillars: increasing public witness to prevent violence, training advocates for peace, pursuing legislation, driving the enforcement of nonviolence, and deepening partnerships with organizations engaged in this work. Dr. Marcenia Richards spoke with the Weekly on a recent Saturday morning shortly after her return from the World Alliance of Religions for Peace in Seoul, South Korea. Continue reading

Education | Politics

Rally for Karen Lewis

Teddy Watler

I am saddened first and foremost by Lewis’s health, and I join countless Chicagoans in holding this seemingly fearless leader in our thoughts as she undergoes treatment and recovery in the coming months. I am saddened too by Lewis’s temporary absence from Chicago politics and dialogue, and by the opportunities that she will miss in the coming months to deepen her imprint on Chicago’s political landscape.


Not Your Average Summer School

Summer camp opportunities for kids on the South Side

With summer fast approaching, we’re all thinking about how we will while away the scorching days ahead. The South Side Weekly turned to Chicago City of Learning for opportunities available to kids this summer. Continue reading

Activism | Bronzeville | Education | Features

Grass Roots

A community mobilizes to keep a Bronzeville high school open


Jitu Brown is the education organizer of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, which is working to keep Dyett High School open in Bronzeville. LUKE WHITE

“People need to know the history of where you stand and where you are.” With those words, Jeanette Taylor set the tone of the Bronzeville Education Summit, a gathering of neighborhood students, parents, and teachers held at Mollison Elementary on January 20. Taylor has a son at Mollison and serves on the Local School Council; she also works with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), which organized the summit. “We have not overcome,” said Taylor, acknowledging the event’s timing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “But we’re coming.” Continue reading